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NOTE TO MEDIA: Reporters are invited to attend and cover Research & the Role of Genetics in MS Monday, Sept. 22, at the Hyatt Regency Greenwich, Old Greenwich, Conn., from 5 to 7 p.m. Connecticut State Deputy Comptroller Mark Ojakian, whose brother, sister and father have MS, is available for interviews. Reservations are required for all guests including media. To secure a media pass, please contact Karen E. Butler, Vice President of Communications, at 860.997.4487.

Renowned Researcher To Speak On Role of Genetics In MS

GREENWICH, Conn. - Published in the New England Journal of Medicine, July 29, 2007, researchers revealed results from a large-scale genomic study that uncovered new genetic variations associated with multiple sclerosis (MS) findings that suggest a possible link between MS and other autoimmune diseases. The study, led by an international consortium of clinical scientists and genomics experts, is the first comprehensive study investigating the genetics of MS.Dr. David Hafler

On Monday, Sept. 22, one of the study’s authors, David Hafler, M.D., will address these important findings at Research & the Role of Genetics in Multiple Sclerosis, a program hosted by the National MS Society, Connecticut Chapter.

“Scientists are increasingly finding genetic links between autoimmune diseases that affect different tissues in the body, including Type 1 diabetes and rheumatoid arthritis,” says Hafler, professor of neurology at Harvard Medical School and Brigham and Women’s Hospital. “This study will likely spur further research into the connection between these seemingly separate conditions.”

More than 6,000 Connecticut residents 400,000 nationwide battle the potentially debilitating effects of multiple sclerosis, an autoimmune disease affecting the central nervous system. There is no cure. Symptoms can include, among other things, numbness in the limbs, difficulties with vision and speech, stiffness, loss of mobility and, in some more severe cases, total paralysis. The progress, severity and specific symptoms of MS in any one person cannot be predicted.

“The research Dr. Hafler has undertaken is critical to understanding the genetic link of multiple sclerosis,” says Connecticut State Deputy Comptroller Mark Ojakian, whose brother, sister and father all have MS. “Hopefully this research will eventually spare other families the agony of dealing with the horrible effects of this disease.”

Research & the Role of Genetics in Multiple Sclerosis will be held Monday, Sept. 22, from 5 to 7 p.m. at the Hyatt Regency Greenwich, 1800 East Putnam Ave., Old Greenwich, Conn. Dinner is included. There is no fee but reservations are required. For more information or to register, please contact Margaret Andrews, programs director, at 860-714-2300 or 1-800-FIGHT MS. For more information on MS and programs and services offered by the chapter to those in the state living with MS, please visit  http://www.ctfightsms.org/.


For More Information
Contact Karen Butler
Vice President of Communications
Phone: 860.714.2300, ext. 230


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